Appendix: Social Media Guide
Social media is a term used to describe websites and online services used to share information and opinions, collaborate on ideas, and connect with others easily.
Examples of social media include video sharing sites, blogs, and social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Using Social Media
RRC uses social media because it provides several channels through which the College can interact with different groups of people. Whether they’re students, alumni or industry, RRC wants to engage each audience by sharing relevant information and participating in conversations.
Through those conversations, RRC can provide quick and helpful customer service, continually improve the reputation of the College, and receive immediate feedback from the community.
Types of Social Media
Blogs provide RRC departments with a voice to share interesting news and stories about their specific areas.
Facebook is the hub of RRC’s online community. From sharing photos and events to providing helpful answers to questions, RRC uses its Facebook page to connect with and talk to different College audience groups.
RRC uses Twitter to share links to news and events, provide timely updates on campus incidents and engage in conversations with the community. Due to character limitations, tweets need to be concise and error-free as they can’t be edited after posting. Adding relevant photos to tweets often helps boost the engagement.
The mobile photo sharing network is the perfect spot for RRC to visually promote what’s happening on campus. Posts are usually photos or videos without any design elements to maintain an organic feel. Since links aren’t recognized in Instagram posts, captions need to convey the intended message without expecting users to jump to another website.
RRC stores images taken at College events and announcements on the photo sharing site Flickr, which allows bloggers to use them in their posts.
YouTube and Vimeo
The RRC channels on YouTube and Vimeo are the go-to sites for visitors wishing to watch videos produced by the College.
The College connects with RRC alumni through LinkedIn by providing grads with news and updates about alumni events. The site is also used as an employee recruitment tool.
Sharing news with various audiences on a regular basis is an effective way to build the RRC brand and drive traffic to other online sites maintained by the College.
Note: Email newsletters must adhere to Canadian anti-spam laws. Find out more at fightspam.gc.ca.
Any Red River College employee can use social media for their personal use. However, if you want to use any form of social media on behalf of RRC, you’ll need to talk with your manager and the Manager, Web Presence, to figure out which type of social media or web presence would be best to help you and your department achieve its goals.
If you have a College-related video that you think would be interesting or valuable for an external audience, contact the Manager, Web Presence.
Social Media Protocols
Engaging people on the web is a powerful way of helping and informing others about RRC. Because of this, it’s important to follow these protocols to maintain the College’s reputation:
Be transparent and honest
Whether you’re writing for a blog or posting on a social networking site, be honest about who you are and what you do.
Think about what you’re saying
When you post content or information, remember that you’re representing the College and are responsible for what you say.
Be respectful and polite
When responding to questions, comments or complaints, treat the other party with respect. Respect and understanding can go a long way when dealing with complaints online.
Use common sense
If you wouldn’t say something to someone in person, you shouldn’t say it online, either.
Use the proper internal channels to voice concerns or complaints about the College and work towards getting them resolved
If something or somebody at work is bothering you, don’t take to social networks to vent your frustrations. Many of these networks are extremely public, which makes it easy for anybody to see your complaint. This could hurt your reputation or that of the College. Internal matters need to remain internal.
Don’t talk publicly about private student or College information
If you’re helping somebody online and need personal information to assist them, tell them you’ll message them and then ask for their information in the private message.
How should I monitor and maintain my account?
Regular maintenance of your social media account is a key factor in its success. By posting new content and responding to comments and questions promptly, visitors will be more likely to come back to the site on a regular basis.
Keeping on top of comments and moderating inappropriate remarks is also important. If a comment contains hateful, pornographic or illegal content, it should be removed from the site immediately and reported to your supervisor.
People will occasionally complain about the College or your department on social media sites. Don’t take it personally. Try and understand where the person is coming from and see if there is anything you can do to defuse the situation. People are often very reasonable if they see the person they are complaining to is understanding and willing to help. If the complaint doesn’t relate to your area, try to find somebody in that area or department who can help out.
What if I have something to promote through social media?
If you’d like to share a story or let people know about an event your department is organizing, email the Manager, Web Presence. The two of you can discuss which avenue would be best for sharing the story or promoting the event, and develop an action plan to get the word out.